Dry and dangerous
City offers pick-up and drop-off Christmas tree disposal services
By André Coleman 12/26/2013
Starting today, residents can drop off their Christmas trees at two locations.
From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 26 through Jan 4 residents can drop off their trees at Eaton Blanche or Robinson parks. The city will pick up trees from local curbsides from Jan. 2 to Jan. 17.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), residents should get rid of trees as soon as possible after Christmas, before they start losing their needles. Dried-out trees present a major fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage or placed outside against a home or structure.
“With the cold weather, people turn up the heat and it will dry out the tree sooner, and people procrastinate and leave the dried out tree in the family and then turn up the heater, creating a fire hazard,” said Pasadena Fire Department Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian.
“We have been fortunate in Pasadena, but every year in surrounding areas we hear about fires due to dried out trees,” Derderian said.
Each year, fire departments around the country respond to an average of 230 structure fires caused by Christmas trees, according to the NFPA’s Web site.
In November, Pasadena firefighters set a Christmas tree on fire to show how dangerous a dried out tree can be. Less than five minutes after the tree was ignited, a blaze erupted, sending flames into the air and eventually raising temperatures to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
At the demonstration, Fire Chief Calvin Wells told residents to pick out a fresh tree and keep the tub they are placed in filled with at least two gallons of water at all times. Additives should be put in the water to keep the tree fresh.
Eaton Blanche Park is at 3100 E. Del Mar Blvd., Pasadena. Robinson Park is at 1801 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 744-7311.